The Mix fall at final hurdle in Women’s Cup

Sat 24 Aug 2019

Saturday 24 August – The Mix became the third British female fastpitch team to get to the final of a major competition this summer and finish with the silver medal when they lost 10-0 in four innings to Athletico San Sebastian today at the European Women’s Cup.

Earlier this summer, the GB Senior Women’s Team had reached the final of the Europe-Africa Olympic Qualifier and the GB Cubs Under-13 Girls’ Fastpitch Team had reached the final of the European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy, but both had lost to Italian opposition.

Today, in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, The Mix lost to a Spanish club team that had cruised through the European Women’s Cup undefeated and now dominated the final behind the one-hit pitching of Stella Turazzi and an offense that piled up 13 hits against Mix starter Mary Murray and relief pitcher Ysa Urquiaga.

The lone hit for The Mix was a one-out double by Sian Wigington in the top of the second inning, but she never advanced beyond second base. 

Laura Thompson was the only other Mix player to reach base, and she did it twice, via an error in the first inning and a walk in the third inning, and though Laura was advanced both times on sacrifice bunts executed by Louisa Scott, she wasn’t able to score.

Stella Turazzi struck out five Mix batters and the Spanish defense took care of the rest.  The Mix finished third in the tournament in team batting with an excellent average of .324 and hit the ball hard all week, but they couldn’t do it today.

Spanish power

Mix starting pitcher Mary Murray, recovering during the week from an ankle injury sustained on Monday, had only missed one day of action and had pitched well during most of the tournament, with an earned run average of less than three runs per game.

But Athletico San Sebastian came out with an aggressive approach in the bottom of the first inning and quickly put four runs on the board.

Rebeca Carrera led off with a single up the middle, The Mix failed to get anyone out on a ground ball by Elizabeth Colmenares, and after both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt, Spanish Women’s Team player Estabaliz Alvarez drove a home run over the fence in left centre field.

And the Spanish weren’t done.  Consecutive singles by Raquel Moncho, Stella Turazzi and Cheyenne Scheffer loaded the bases and Moncho scored on a sacrifice fly.

That was a bad enough start for The Mix, but in the bottom of the second inning Athletico did it again: four more runs on six hits, including doubles by Elizabeth Colmenares and Cheyenne Scheffer and a triple from Raquel Moncho.

In the middle of the inning, Ysa Urquiaga came in to pitch for Mary Murray and eventually got through the onslaught, then gave up single runs to the Spanish in the third and fourth innings.  The run in the bottom of the fourth inning, scored with no one out, brought up the mercy rule score (10 after four) and ended the game.

Afterwards, Head Coach Robbie Robison said, “It was a fair result – they were just too good.  We gave it everything and fought all the way to the end, but their pitcher shut us down.

“It was a great tournament,” Robbie added, “and I’m very proud of the way the players handled themselves all week – they were fantastic.”

There is a lot to be proud of in the way The Mix played this week, and the GB Women and the Under-13s before them, and three silver medals in a summer in European competitions – not to mention the gold medal won by the GB Co-ed Slowpitch Team – is a great achievement for British softball.

But the players on all three fastpitch teams will feel the disappointment of coming so very close to the ultimate prize but falling just short.

Final standings

The bronze medal game, an all-Nordic affair played earlier today by Horsholm from Denmark and Skovde Saints from Sweden, was won by Horsholm by a score of 7-1.

Final standings in the 2019 European Women’s Cup were:

1 – Athletico San Sebastian
2 – The Mix (GB)
3 – Horsholm (Denmark)
4 – Skovde Saints (Sweden)
5 – Akademics Sofia (Bulgaria)
6 – Princ Zagreb (Croatia)
7 – Beit Shemes (Israel)
8 – Angels Dupnitsa (Bulgaria)
9 – Gepardy Zory (Poland)

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